Game Ranching: A Proven Sustainable Land Use Option and Economic Incentive for Biodiversity Conservation in Zambia

Up until the end of 2012/early 2013, the ten provinces of Zambia were surveyed to determine the number and size of game ranches located in these areas. There are three types of game ranches: 1) 500 hectares as a game ranch proper, 2) 50 – 500 hectares as a game farm, and 3) 50 hectares as an ornamental. For the period 1980-2012, a total of 200 game ranches housing large mammals ranging in size from common duiker to eland were recorded, with a growth rate of 6 per year. The number of ornamental 98 (49%) ranches was the highest; large game ranches were 75 (38%) and game farms were the lowest (27%). (14 percent ). Thirty-seven large mammal species were identified, with the impala topping the list with 21,000 individuals (34 percent ). It was discovered that, with the exception of Luapula, none of the ten provinces had any game ranches, despite being largely rural with low population densities. The provinces with the most were Lusaka and Kabwe. 71 percent (36 percent), Southern 59 percent (30 percent), Central 31 percent (16 percent), Copperbelt 19 percent (10 percent), Eastern and Northwestern 9 percent (4.5 percent each), and Muchinga was the least with 2 percent (1 percent ). The rapid increase in the number of ornamental categories is primarily due to the increased development of tourist lodging facilities and high-end residential properties. This expansion provides an opportunity to convert abandoned farmlands that are no longer useful for agriculture due to loss of fertility and other factors to game ranching schemes. a variety of other types of land degradation Likewise, parcels of land with natural ecological constraints should be considered for such schemes. Because human population density in Zambia is still low (17/km2 in 2012), the game ranching sector has the potential to grow. To achieve good growth rates in each province, technical information and services should be made available. Ranching could improve carbon sequestration, which is important in reducing carbon emissions and other greenhouse gases.

Author (s) Details

Chansa Chomba
School of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Disaster Management Training Centre, Mulungushi University, Kabwe, Zambia.

Chimbola Obias
Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Mulungushi University, Kabwe, Zambia.

Vincent Nyirenda
School of Natural Resources, Copperbelt University, Kitwe, Zambia.

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